On 16th June we closed the office, so that the directors and the team at Sibbalds could hold an “away day” at Horsley Lodge. This was a chance for us to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the firm and focus on strategic issues – something we encourage all businesses to do (you may have heard us use the phrase “working ON the business not IN it”.
Having a clear vision of where you want to be in 1, 3 and 5 years’ time, and then setting in place actions and goals to help you achieve this, is paramount for the success in every business. Our last away day was held in 2011, and the first part of the morning was spent reviewing the vision we had then and the SWOT analysis we undertook on that day (SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). It was pleasing to see that we had managed to address almost all the weaknesses and capitalise on many of the strengths and opportunities noted. This is one of the reasons for our continued growth over the past 5 years.
After setting out our vision for the next 5 years (one of which is to grow by 50%) we then performed a new SWOT analysis, to identify those issues relevant today. One, which will be a Threat to almost all UK businesses, is the EU Referendum. At the time of finalising this, the vote came out in favour of Leave. Common Threats, which everyone faces, are competition from other businesses, changes in regulation or customer behaviour, and changes in the economy. As in 2011, we noted these and will attempt to safeguard against them.
We generated a lot of ideas under the heading of Opportunities – including new services, improvements to existing services, and ideas to help us keep in touch with clients more often and in more ways. So, if you’re a client of Sibbalds, watch this space!
After a productive mornings work we had a light lunch or soup and sandwiches in the conservatory (if you’ve not been to Horsley Lodge then I can strongly recommend a visit – the food is excellent and the views over the course are breathtaking). The day ended with the team cheering as we watched England beat Wales 2-1!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team for their participation and positivity on the day, and to Horsley Lodge for looking after us so well.
If you would like help with your strategy, conducting a SWOT analysis, or just want someone to run ideas past, please give me a call.